Thursday, December 14, 2017

3 Agents Actively Seeking Literary and Commercial Fiction, Nonfiction, Kidlit

These three agents are actively seeking writers. Jennifer Chen Tran (Bradford Literary) is interested in representing literary and commercial fiction. In nonfiction, she loves books that broaden her world view or shed new light on “big ideas.”  Amanda Annis (Trident Media Group) is looking for literary fiction and nonfiction. Wendi Gu (Janklow & Nesbit) want illustrators, children's literature, and adult literary fiction and nonfiction that speaks to cultural identity negotiation, displacement, and race relations.

ALWAYS check the agency website before submitting. Agents may switch agencies or close their lists and submission requirements may change.

If these agents do not suit your needs, you can find a comprehensive list of new and established agents seeking clients here: Agents Seeking Clients.

Wendi Gu of Janklow & Nesbit

Wendi grew up in the sleepy suburbs of Chicago and studied Creative Writing at Northwestern University. As an undergraduate, she interned with children’s book agent Brenda Bowen at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, and continued working there as a literary assistant after graduation. She soon began representing her own picture books, middle-grade, and young adult titles with a special interest in girl power, family relationships, and the immigrant experience. She likes stories that root for the underdog. Her favorite books have voices that range from warm and lyrical, to witty and deadpan. She is lucky enough to work with authors of new and forthcoming titles like Sterling, Best Dog Ever by Aidan Cassie (FSG Books for Young Readers, Spring 2018) and Paper Son: The Story of Tyrus Wong by Julie Leung and illustrated by Chris Sasaki (Schwartz & Wade, Fall 2019).

What she is seeking: For illustration, she enjoys elegant and eclectic color pallettes, and looks for nuanced character expression and dynamic composition. She is very interested in unconventional illustration mediums like cut paper and photo illustration. Wendi is always on the lookout for nonfiction picture book biographies on little-known heroes in history.

Wendi also represents adult titles in adult literary fiction and nonfiction that speaks to cultural identity negotiation, displacement, and race relations.

How to Query: For submissions, please send a query letter and a ten page sample of your book to Wendi at


Jennifer Chen Tran of Bradford Literary

Jennifer Chen Tran joined Bradford Literary Agency in September 2017. Originally from New York, Jennifer is a lifelong reader and experienced member of the publishing industry. Prior to joining Bradford Literary, she was an Associate Agent at Fuse Literary and served as Counsel at The New Press. She obtained her Juris Doctor from Northeastern School of Law in Boston, MA, and a Bachelors of Arts in English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis.

Jennifer understands the importance of negotiation in securing rights on behalf of her authors. She counsels her clients on how to expand their platforms, improve on craft, and works collaboratively with her clients throughout the editorial and publication process. Her ultimate goal is to work in concert with authors to shape books that will have a positive social impact on the world—books that also inform and entertain.

Select titles that Jennifer has represented: I WILL LOVE YOU FOREVER by Cori Salchert (Barbour/ Shiloh Run Press); BREAKING UP & BOUNCING BACK by Samantha Burns (Dover/ Ixia Press); THE ART OF ESCAPING by Erin Callahan (Amberjack); MATCH MADE IN MANHATTAN by Amanda Stauffer (Skyhorse); A CROWDFUNDER’S STRATEGY GUIDE by Jamey Stegmaier (Berrett-Koehler).

Some of her favorite books include: NEVER LET ME GO, by Kazuo Ishiguro, THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING by Joan Didion, THE UNWANTED by Kien Nguyen, BYRD by Kim Church, and AMERICAN BORN CHINESE by Gene Luen Yang, among many others.

What she is seeking: Jennifer is very interested in diverse writers and #ownvoices from underrepresented/ marginalized communities, strong and conflicted characters who are not afraid to take emotional risks, stories about multi-generational conflict, war and post-war fiction, and writing with a developed sense of place. She enjoys both literary and commercial fiction. In nonfiction, she loves books that broaden her world view or shed new light on “big ideas.”


Women’s Fiction (Contemporary, Upmarket, Literary)
Select Young Adult (must have distinct voice)
Select Middle Grade
Graphic novels and visually-driven projects

Nonfiction (particularly in the areas of):

Narrative nonfiction (biography, current affairs, medical, investigative journalism, history, how-to, music, pop-culture, travel)
Cookbooks & culinary projects
Lifestyle (home, design, beauty, fashion)
Business Books (social entrepreneurship, female and/or minority-led businesses, and innovation)
Select memoir with an established platform
Relationships and Psychology
Mind, body, spirit

Jennifer is NOT looking for:

Children’s picture books
Science Fiction, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy

How to Submit:

Fiction: Please email a query letter along with the first chapter of your manuscript and a synopsis pasted into the body of your email. Please be sure to include the genre and word count in your cover letter.

Illustrators: If you are an illustrator and/or seeking representation to artwork alone, please include a link to your online portfolio and a link to the online dummy. Please do not attach artwork to the email submission.

Nonfiction: Please email your full non-fiction proposal including a query letter and a sample chapter.

To avoid falling into spam, the subject line must begin as follows: QUERY: (The title of the manuscript and any SHORT message you would like the agent to see should follow). Attachments will not be opened, unless specifically requested by the agent. Your entire submission must appear in the body of the email and not as an attachment. E-mail the submission to

Amanda Annis of Trident Media Group

For Amanda Annis, her love of books has always been at the center of her career. She has worked as a writer with a B.F.A. in poetry, a bookseller, and as an editor at several publishers including Penguin Random House, Cambridge University Press, and Love Among the Ruins. Amanda now brings that same passion to Trident as a literary agent. Here, she is able to guide her authors through every step, from the editorial board to the bookstore.

What she is seeking: Fiction: Literary fiction. Nonfiction: Self-help, Biography, Food & Wine, Health & Fitness.  “I love narratives that take me into a world I would not know otherwise, especially those that are beautifully told.”

How to submit: Amanda is accepting submissions via online form, here. Follow Amanda on Twitter @diaryofaneditor.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

One of my books saved someone from suicide

Five years ago, I self-published the second edition of a book I’d originally written with my friend and associate Lauren Gellman in 1998. The first edition, which was published by St. Martin’s Press, was out of print, and I didn’t want to go through the long, grueling process of finding an agent and publisher again. So I went ahead and published an electronic second edition on Amazon.

After a few months of promotion, during which I gave away more than 15,000 copies, I turned my attention to other projects. I stopped reading the reviews on Amazon — until yesterday, when for some undefinable reason I decided to see if anything new had popped up.

The book is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Treatment Guide, 2nd Edition. At the time of its first release in 1998, there were no other books on the market focusing on treatments for the disease, which is not only difficult to treat, but permanently disables about a quarter of the people who contract it. (In the late 90s, the press was still calling it “yuppie flu.” It is properly called myalgic encephalomyelitis.) The book was groundbreaking. But only 5,000 copies were sold. The book’s release was, as a British friend of mine put it, “Silent as a pee in bath.”

The second edition was about twice as long as the first. (One reason I published the second edition as an ebook was that nobody would have been able to afford, let alone lift, a 750-page book.) I put a year of work into it, which I chalked up as a “labor of love” — something that was a noble effort, if ultimately unacknowledged.

All of that changed yesterday. Below is the review I found of my book. I don’t know this person. I will never meet this person. But my heart was torn when I read this review on Amazon.

They say that if you reach even one person, it makes writing worthwhile. In this instance nothing could be more true. Someone Astonishing, I did it all for you.


By Someone Astonishing on January 4, 2017

I’m wiped out. That’s how I feel right now. And pretty much most of the time . . . for the past 26 years. I had toyed with the notion that my malady might be Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but I already had so many weird, random, all-in-my-head symptoms, that I hated to bring it up and sound like even more of a hypochondriac to my doctor. Admittedly, I used to be more assertive and push for doctors to hear me: there was more wrong with me than a constant string of random, unprovable, seemingly-unrelated symptoms. But, I always came away with a psych referral — not a diagnosis. So, I grew leery of bringing up more than the manifesting symptoms. But, I’ve been with my doctor for ten years; if I was really sick with CFS, wouldn’t she have realized it? She already diagnosed me with fibromyalgia years ago (often a dual diagnosis). Wouldn’t she have caught on? After all, I constantly complain of fatigue and malaise, as well as all the other hallmarks. Well, the answer is a resounding NO. The medical community cannot be counted on to recognize or even believe CFS exists.

So, I struggled with the brain fog and read this book to try to help myself. All of my “imaginary” symptoms? Every one of them is described in this book. Here were my decades of misery and depression laid bare. I was now able to put together a clear picture of my illness and present it to my doctor. She heard me out and actually agreed with my diagnosis. And, although there’s nothing more we can do than treat the symptoms as we have been, I feel better. No, wait, I don’t feel better. But, I do feel free.

I no longer doubt myself. I don’t question if my symptoms are real. I don’t blame myself or fitness level when I’m out of breath and can’t do things. I’m not constantly pushing myself, trying to do everything like “normal” people can (and like I thought I should). I no longer work myself to the point that it takes 4 days to recover from 1 afternoon. I’ve accepted my limits and am making sure that those closest to me accept them, too. For decades, I was ruthlessly mean to myself for being lazy or overweight or out of shape. Everything was a failure on my part.

I’ve been miserable; I was beyond depressed. This book literally — and I do mean literally — saved my life. I couldn’t have forced myself to go on much longer. Yes, I am saying that I would definitely have been a suicide statistic. But, I gained power from reading: power to name my tormentor, power to stop blaming myself and power to find some inner peace.

Now, I follow the stellar advice, found here, of planning what I intend to accomplish each day and then do 75% of it. This remarkably simple tip has helped me reshape my life. I make it through my day unfrazzled, and still have something left for tomorrow. My experience with this book has been wonderful. I wholeheartedly recommend this work to anyone wondering if they might have CFS or to those just wanting to gain a better understanding of the syndrome. It’s an extremely thorough and well-written treatment of the subject.

Now, I thank you for reading my story, but I really am worn out and my shoulders are killing, but my attitude is soaring like it hasn’t in . . . forever. Time for a rest, friends.


Epilogue: I thought my work was over when I published my book, but since then it has only expanded. Someone Astonishing, like so many others, has nowhere to turn for help. One book was not enough, so I founded a national non-profit, the American Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Society ( Its aim is to help patients find knowledgeable physicians, effective treatments, support, and practical assistance. There is hope.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Why You Need an Author Profile - And Where to Post It

One of my hugely informative author profiles. Don't do this.
Author profiles are an essential part of book marketing and promotion. An author profile is a mini-biography. It tells something about the author that will interest the reader, includes a headshot, and links to the author's books. Depending on where you post your profile, you can also include a link to your website or blog, events, videos, and answers to questions posed by readers.

Profiles are useful for several reasons. First, anyone who has enjoyed your book will want to find out more about you. And second, your fans will want to read other books by you. Third, profiles provide an avenue for engagement with readers.

Your profile isn't just who you are, it's who your readers think you should be.

The two foundations of a profile are:

Headshot - Readers, first and foremost, want to know what authors look like. How many times have you read a book and then hunted around on the back for a photo? Maybe, you've even done that before you read the book. Make sure your photo is professional. Depending on what you write your portrait can be serious (literary fiction), friendly (children's fiction), brooding (horror), congenial (general fiction), authoritative (non-fiction) - whatever you write, your personality should reflect your genre. A good photographer can make a world of difference, so work with a professional.

Bio - Bios are written in third person. As with the headshot, your bio should match your genre or topic. If you are writing non-fiction, your credentials are most important. What gives you the authority to write your book? If you write humor, make it clever. If you write for children, you can include your family, your pets. If you are writing general fiction for adults, write about your background, your professional career, where you live. (Do not write about your first writing project when you were in grade school!) Do you have any awards? Make sure to include them. Pretend that your publicist is writing about you - not your mother.

Where to post your profile

It goes without saying that your profile needs to be the central pillar of your website, but the two other places you absolutely must post your profile are Amazon and Goodreads. These two sites get an enormous amount of traffic. If you are self-publishing, make sure to post your profile on the platform you are using. Post a shortened profile on social media and networking platforms (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+). If you keep a blog (and you should), post a profile on your blog, and wherever you re-post (Medium, Scriggler, etc). Post your profile on groups you are a member of (alumni associations, professional guilds, etc). And post it where you promote your book (BookBub). In other words, post your profile everywhere you can. People who read your book will want to find you, so make it easy for them.

Helpful articles:

BookWorks has an excellent step-by-step set of instructions for making best use of your Author Central Page here: How to Optimize Your Amazon Author Central Page

You can find additional homes for your author profile here: 12 Author Profile Sites to Boost Your Discoverability 


Amazon Author Central

Amazon is the largest Internet retailer in the world, so chances are good your book is for sale on Amazon. Author Central offers a wide array of features, including bio, photos, links to your books on Amazon, videos, events, blog feed, and your own URL.

Bio - of at least 100 characters. Amazon does not support HTML in their author bios, so it needs to be straight text - no italics, bold, etc. You should periodically update your bio, but before you do make sure to make a copy and save it to your computer first. (Amazon will not save your old bio.)

Photo - between 300 and 8000 pixels in width and height. Only JPEG (or JPG), GIF, or PNG photos, no other formats. You can add up to eight images.

Blog - Amazon allows you to link your blog feed to Author Central. Anyone visiting your Author page will see extracts of your latest posts along with a link to read more.

Events - This is where you place all upcoming events, whether they are physical (e.g. book signings) or virtual. After you've created an event, it is displayed in the Scheduled Events section. People can see the venue, location, time, a short description of the event, and the book you're touring with.

Videos - You can share video interviews, book signing videos, and other videos with readers. Your videos should focus on specific features of your books or your experience as an author. You can add up to eight videos to your page. Videos should be a maximum of 10 minutes and in one of the following formats: avi, wmv, flv, mov, or mpg. Videos should be your own (not from Youtube).

Author Page URL - If you wish, you can create your own URL for your author page to post to your Facebook page and/or blogs, tweet to your followers, or add it to your email signature. A URL that includes your name is important for Google searches. When people search your name, they will be directed to your Amazon Author Central page.



GoodReads is a social discovery book site with over 50 million user reviews. It is currently owned by Amazon. The site is very active, providing a venue where readers can engage freely with authors, ask questions, follow authors, sign up for giveaways. In addition to rating and reviewing books, readers can see what is on their friends' bookshelves, get recommendations, and join groups. Like all social media, GoodReads allows you to have followers. Like Amazon's Author Central, you can post an RSS feed to blog, links to your website and Twitter account.

Tips: Upload a professional photo. Make sure your face can be seen. Your photo should reflect your writing image, that is, if you write children's fiction, you should smile and look trustworthy. If you write serious literary fiction, a serious black and white photo is fine. Humor - go ahead with a quirky photo.

A solid bio consists of a paragraph or two, and should convey some interesting personal information that can’t be found elsewhere

Enable Ask the Author from your author dashboard to allow readers to contact you easily. You can’t predict when a reader might want to ask you a question, so turning this tool on gives readers the immediate ability to connect with you. Even if the person hasn’t read your book, something in your bio might spark a question.

Curate your virtual bookshelf. Readers will be curious about what kind of reader you are. Find at least 20 books to add to your bookshelf on Goodreads. You don’t need to rate them if you don’t want to. You can also create custom shelves relevant to your work, for example “Books About Maine” if your novel was set there.



Librarything is a community of 2,100,000 book lovers. Like GoodReads, Librarything a social cataloging website for storing and sharing book catalogs and various types of book metadata. It is used by readers, authors, and librarians. There are currently 17,554 authors on Librarything. An author profile is automatically created when you become an Author Member. Simply upload a photo, add links to your website, and write a short bio.

Then do the following:

Catalog your books. Your readers want to know what books they have in common with you. Rate and review books to let your fans know what you think.

Add your readings and other events to LibraryThing Local. Events will then show up on your author page as well, so your readers can learn about your public appearances.

Join the Hobnob with Authors group and discuss your work with interested members.

Sign up for one of their Author Chats. It's not "real-time", but takes place in one of Librarything's forums, the Author Chat group, over a two-week period. Members ask questions, and the author checks in about once a day and responds. Librarything promotes author chats by sending profile comments to every member who has listed one of the author's books. 

Authors can host book giveaways on Librarything for ebooks, which is enormously helpful if you are self-published and are trying to get reviews.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

2 New Agents Looking for Fantasy, Thrillers, Horror, Romance, Translations and More

Here are two new agents actively building their client lists. Elianna Kan of Regal Hoffmann is particularly interested in Spanish language fiction and nonfiction, and translation in general. Lynnette Novak of the Seymour Agency is looking for fantasy, thriller, contemporary romance, mystery, and sci-fi in adult fiction. And in YA she wants fantasy, sci-fi, horror, contemporary, thriller, and mystery.

ALWAYS check the agency website before submitting. Agents may switch agencies or close their lists and submission requirements may change.

If these agents do not suit your needs, you can find a comprehensive list of new and established agents seeking clients here: Agents Seeking Clients.


Elianna Kan of Regal Hoffmann

Elianna Kan joined Regal Hoffmann in 2017. She began her publishing career at Picador and as Senior Editor of The American Reader, where she edited literature in translation. After several years as a Spanish reader for Maria B. Campbell Associates and various US publishers, she decided to immerse herself more fully in the Latin American publishing world by moving to Mexico City where she worked as a consultant for Penguin Random House Mexico's Foreign Rights Director. She continues splitting her time between New York and Mexico. Elianna is a native of New Hampshire with a BA in Literary Studies and a background in theater from Middlebury College. She has studied Critical Theory at the University of Buenos Aires and is currently pursuing an MA at the Bread Loaf School of English. She is a native Russian speaker and speaks Spanish fluently. She has written about the Latin American publishing market for Publishing Perspectives and has interviewed writers and theater-makers on behalf of The Paris Review, BOMB Magazine, and The Believer. She has a passion for interdisciplinary cultural programming and teaches creative writing and literary translation at Columbia University.

What she is looking for: Elianna is actively building a list of Spanish-language fiction and non-fiction writers and is interested in literature in translation in general.

How to submit: Submissions should consist of a one-page query letter detailing the book in question as well as the qualifications of the author. For fiction, submissions may also include the first ten pages of the novel or one short story from a collection.

Lynnette Novak of The Seymour Agency

Prior to joining The Seymour Agency, Lynnette spent seventeen years freelance editing. She worked with new writers, advanced writers, as well as New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors. Lynnette earned a bachelor of education degree from the University of Manitoba, where she specialized in English and French. She excelled in Advanced Creative Writing in university and studied writing for children and teens through the Institute of Children’s Literature. She was a Pitch Wars mentor in 2015 and 2016. Both her mentees acquired an agent.

Although Lynnette was born and raised in Manitoba, Canada, she now lives in Minnesota with her husband, twin girls, and many pets. Her personal interests include reading, writing, exercising at the gym (okay, that’s a love/hate relationship), working on an assortment of crafts, all things having to do with animals (if she could own a farm, zoo, and animal shelter, she would), and enjoying time with family and friends.

What she is looking for: Adult: fantasy, thriller, contemporary romance, mystery, and sci-fi. YA: fantasy, sci-fi, horror, contemporary, thriller, and mystery. I love dark & twisty, light and funny, and stories with or without romance. 

How to submit: Lynette is accepting submissions via email at  More info on submissions may be found here.
Follow Lynnette on Twitter: @Lynnette_Novak

Friday, December 1, 2017

37 Calls for Submissions in December 2017 - Paying markets

Joachim Lehrer
There are more than three dozen calls for submissions in December. All of these are paying markets, and none charge submission fees. As always, every genre, style, and form is wanted, from short stories about monsters to underwater romance.

I post calls for submissions on the first day of every month. But as I am collecting them, I post them on my page, Calls for Submissions. You can get a jump on next month's calls for submissions by checking that page periodically throughout the month. (I only post paying markets.)

SliceGenre: Stories, poems, personal essays on theme of "Flight." Payment: $250 for stories and essays and $75 for poems. Deadline: December 1, 2017.

Compelling Science FictionGenre: Science fiction. Payment: 6 cents/word. 1 cent/word for reprints. Deadline: December 1, 2017.

Prairie Fire (Canada). Genres: Poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, memoir, drama—or another genre, as you see fit—that celebrates, reflects on, or engages with women’s issues in Canada in the last 100 years, such as the suffrage movement, women’s rights, gendered political issues, etc. Payment: Print - Prose: $0.10 per word. Poetry: $40 per poem. Illustrations, portfolios, portraits: $25 per page for reprint rights. Deadline: December 1, 2017. Read submission guidelinesSnail mail submissions only.

CicadaGenre: Short stories, poetry, comics for teens on the theme of Monsters. Payment: Fiction: up to 10¢ per word; Nonfiction: up to 25¢ per word; Poems: up to $3.00 per line; $25.00 minimum; Art payment not specified. (Send them your portfolio.) Deadline: December 1, 2017.

Eternal Haunted SummerGenre: Fiction, poetry, reviews, essays about the Gods and Goddesses and heroes of the world’s many Pagan traditions. Payment: $5. Deadline: December 1, 2017.

Contrary Magazine. Genre: Original commentary, fiction, and poetry. Payment: $20. Deadline: December 1, 2017.

Pedestal Magazine. Genre: Poetry. Payment: $40. Deadline: December 3, 2017.

Insignia. Genre: Speculative fiction, short stories. Theme: "What does the future look like in Asia? Entertain us with your wild stories set in an Asian country (realistic or re-imagined). or even in an away-from-earth civilization. Your main characters must however, be recognizable as Asian and retain some cultural traits, or native language, etc." Payment: 0-2000 words = US$5 / 2001-6000 words = US$10. Deadline: December 3, 2017. Reprints accepted.

MslexiaGenre: Stories, poems, and scripts on theme of "Bewitched." Length: Stories up to 2,200 words, poems up to 40 lines, and short scripts up to 1,000 words (including character names and stage instructions). Payment: £25. Deadline: December 4, 2017.

JaggeryGenre: Art, poetry, reviews, and fiction connecting South Asian diasporic writers and homeland writers; "we also welcome non-South Asians with a deep and thoughtful connection to South Asian countries, who bring their own intersecting perspectives to the conversation. (By South Asia we mean Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, The Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.) Our hope with Jaggery is to create a journal that offers the best writing by and about South Asians and their diaspora." Payment: $25 for art, poetry, reviews and essays, $100 for fiction. Deadline: December 4, 2017.

Broken Metropolis Anthology: Queer Tales of a City That Never WasGenre: Urban fantasy short stories under 6,000 words. "We are looking for stories that explore the edges of urban fantasy through queer stories. While the city these stories are set in should be vast and unnamed, highly specific neighborhoods and landmarks are encouraged and sought after. We welcome a broad interpretation of the genre that is inclusive of postmodern folk tales, future/ancient noir, and stories that happen both behind closed doors and in plain sight. Throughout, we’re looking for rich, varied and nuanced understandings of gender, family and ethnicity." Payment: 2 cents per word. Deadline: December 7, 2017.

Out of Your Shadow Anthology Call: Empowered Sidekicks Anthology. Genre: Short fiction. "This anthology will focus on tales about the sidekicks who help the heroes and princesses find their happily ever afters, and what happens to them after their quests are done." Payment: one half-cent per word, with a minimum payment of $5.00 and a maximum of $15.00. Payment for reprints is a maximum of $10. Deadline: December 10, 2017.

Ruminate. Ruminate welcomes submissions that both subtly and overtly engages faith from all the world religions. Genre: Fiction, poetry. Payment: $15/poem and $15/400 words for prose. Deadline: December 15, 2017.

Freeze Frame Fiction. Genre: Flash fiction; issues are themed. Payment: $10. Deadline: December 15, 2017.

Prairie Fire (Canada). Restrictions: Canadian Indigenous Writers: submit your work to ndncountry, a special joint issue of Prairie Fire and CV2. Genres: Stories, poems, memoirs, literary experiments, and any other writing. Payment: Print - Prose: $0.10 per word. Poetry: $40 per poem. Deadline: December 15, 2017. Read submission guidelinesSnail mail submissions only.

Pittsburgh Poetry ReviewGenre: Poetry. Payment: $25/poem. Deadline: December 15, 2017.

Speculative City. Genre: Cityscape poetry and fiction on theme of "Grotesque." Payment:  $20-$75. Deadline: December 15, 2017.

Eye to the Telescope. Genre: Speculative poetry. Theme: Arthuriana. Payment: US 3¢/word rounded to nearest dollar; minimum US $3, maximum $25. Deadline: December 15, 2017.

Maiden, Mother, and Crone: Fantastical Trans Femmes. Restrictions: Open to trans women and trans feminine writers. Genre: Fantasy short stories. Payment: .07 per word. Deadline: December 15, 2017.

After the Orange. Genre: Short story. Theme: Near- or farther-future stories about society as it is after 2032 – at least two presidential election cycles after Donald Trump’s last eligibility. Show us America or the world in a new era; look at world politics changed by US policies and people. Or go beyond. Payment: US $0.02 cent/word, paid on publication, plus shared royalties.  Deadline: December 15, 2017.

Cloaked Press: Spring Into SciFi. Genre: Science fiction stories that contain stories of Space Exploration, Advanced Technology, AI, Cloning, Robotics and of course, Aliens. Payment: $10. Deadline: December 17, 2017.

Love and Bubbles. Genre: Romance love stories centered around: underwater biodomes, submarines, scuba diving, alien planets entirely covered by water, sea monsters, selkies, mermaids, water witches, Neptune/Poseidon, lost underwater civilizations, ghost ships, and more! Payment: $50. Deadline: December 20, 2017.

Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores. Genre: Speculative fiction, art and nonfiction. Payment: 6 cents/word for new fiction, 2 cents/word reprints, 2 - 6 cents/word nonfiction. Deadline: December 28, 2017. Reprints accepted.

3288 ReviewRestrictions: They only accept submissions from current or former residents of West Michigan, or frequent visitors to the West Michigan region. Genre: Fiction, nonfiction, poetry. Payment: Poetry – $5.00 per poem published, up to 10 poems; Prose 1,000 to 5,000 words – $25.00; Prose 5,001 to 10,000 words – $50.00. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

AllegoryGenre: Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror. Payment: $15. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Carte Blanche (Canada). Genre: Poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, translations. comics, photography. Payment: "Modest" Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Existere (Canada). Genre: Poetry, short plays, short stories, creative nonfiction, postcard/flash fiction, art and literature reviews, critical essays, interviews, sketches, photos. Payment: "Modest" Deadline: December 31, 2017.

The CantabrigianGenre: Literary fiction, cover art. Payment: Between $20 and $50 per contributor. Deadline: December 31, 2017. Submit early to avoid submission fees.

Best American Science Fiction and FantasyGenre: Science Fiction and Fantasy short stories published in the calendar year 2017 by a nationally distributed magazine in the US or Canada. Payment: Not specified, but I am including this entry anyhow. The "Best of SFF" series is published by Mariner Books, a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Zombies Need Brains AnthologiesGenre: Speculative fiction. Payment: 6 cents/word plus royalties. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Forbidden: Tales of Repression, Restriction, and Rebellion. Genre: Short stories. Payment: 2% of the net profits from the anthology. Deadline: December 31, 2017. Reprints accepted.

Dreaming Robot Press. Genre: Speculative fiction short stories for middle grade readers (ages 8 -12). Payment: 6 cents/word. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Awakenings. Genre: Speculative fiction. Payment: $0.08 per word up to $800. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Bare Life Review. Restrictions: Open to work exclusively by immigrant and refugee authors. Genre: Fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Payment: $1000 for accepted prose pieces, and $400 for accepted poems. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Workers Write! Genre: Short fiction. "We're looking for fiction about bakers, bartenders, bus people, chefs, cooks, managers, owners, servers - anyone who works in a restaurant, bar, or cafĂ©." Payment:  Between $5 and $50 (depending on length and rights requested). Deadline: December 31, 2017. Reprints accepted.

Shoreline of Infinity. Restrictions: Women writers only. Genre: Speculative fiction and poetry. Payment: £10 per 1000 words. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Lethe Press: Midas Clutch. Genre: Queer speculative fiction. "Lethe is seeking weird and eerie stories of people consumed by wealth. Each tale must be suffused with the trappings of the well-to-do. Decadence should be paramount." Payment: 5 cents a word for original work, 2 cents a word if a reprint. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

62 Writing Contests in December 2017 - No entry fees

The end of the year is always marked by a substantial number of writing contests. This December there are dozens of poetry, short story, essay, and full manuscript contests for every genre and style. Some of the prizes are substantial. None of these contests charge entry fees.

Some of these contests have age and regional restrictions, so be sure to check submission guidelines before submitting.

Many contests are annual, so if you miss your ideal contest this year,  you can always enter next year. For a month-by-month list of free contests see: Writing Contests


Poetry Center at Smith College PrizeRestrictions: Open to sophomore or junior high school girls in New England. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $500. Deadline: December 1, 2017.

Donald Murray Prize for Creative Nonfiction. Genre: Original, unpublished works of creative nonfiction with a preference for essays on writing, teaching, and teaching writing, but will consider quality entries on any subject, including topics related to social justice, civic action, and inequality. Prize:  $300 in the form of an AMEX gift card and publication in the Spring 2018 issue of Writing on the Edge. All entries will be considered for publication in the journal. Length: 8,000 words maximum (2500–4500 preferred) Deadline: December 1, 2017.

‘Geo-Lit’ Writing ContestGenre: Short stories between 500 words and 1500 words set at a real location in New York City. Prize: First place $100, and a $50 prize will awarded by Literary Manhattan. Deadline: December 1, 2017.

Unified Caring Association Student Essay ContestRestrictions: Open to US High School Juniors and Seniors. Genre: Essay on topic: If you were the President of the United States, what would you do to promote Peace and Unity? Word count: 500 - 550 words. Prize: 10 first prizes of $333 scholarship; 10 second place essays will each receive a $100 scholarship Deadline: December 1, 2017.

Quantum Shorts CompetitionGenre: Short story, max 1,000 words, that draws on the strange ways of quantum particles and anticipate a new era of quantum technology. You must also include the phrase: "There are only two possibilities: yes or no." Prize: Up to US$1500 and digital subscriptions to Scientific American magazine. Deadline: December 1, 2017.

Tony Quagliano Poetry Fund, International Poetry AwardRestrictions: Open to poets who have a published body of work over a period of years. Poems must be in English. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: December 1, 2017.

The David J. Langum, Sr. Prize in American Historical Fiction is offered annually to the best book in American historical fiction that is both excellent fiction and excellent history. Prize: $1.000.  Deadline: December 1, 2017.

Jessamy Stursberg Poetry Contest for Canadian YouthRestrictions: Canadians, grades 7-12. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $400. Deadline: December 1, 2017.

Brunel University African Poetry PrizeRestrictions: Open to poets who were born in Africa, or who are nationals of an African country, or whose parents are African. Genre: 10 poems exactly. Prize: 3,000 pounds. Deadline: December 1, 2017.

The Schneider Family Book Award is sponsored by the American Library Association. The award honors an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences. Prize: Three annual awards each consisting of $5000 and a framed plaque, will be given annually in each of the following categories: birth through grade school (age 0-10), middle school (age 11-13) and teens (age 13-18). (Age groupings are approximations). Genre: May be fiction, biography, or other form of nonfiction. Deadline: December 1, 2017.

Thomas and Lillie D. Chaffin Award for Appalachian WritingRestrictions: Open to published writers who are writing from the region. Genres: All. Prize: $1000. Deadline: December 1, 2017.

The Sillerman First Book Prize for African PoetryRestrictions: Open to African poets who have not yet published a collection of poetry. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $1,000 and book publication through the University of Nebraska Press and Amalion Press in Senegal. Deadline: December 1, 2017.

The Pushcart Prize honors the best "poetry, short fiction, essays or literary whatnot" published in small presses and literary magazines. Magazine and small press editors may nominate up to six works. Pushcart Press publishes yearly anthologies of the winning submissions. Prize: Publication.  Deadline: December 1, 2017.

The Lyric College Poetry ContestRestrictions: Open to undergraduates enrolled full time in an American or Canadian college or university. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $500. Deadline: December 1, 2017.

Emerging Poets Fellowship at Poets HouseRestrictions: Applicants to the Emerging Poets Fellowship at Poets House must reside in one of the five boroughs of New York City. Students who are or will be enrolled in any degree granting program during Spring 2018 are ineligible. Deadline: December 1, 2017. There is no application fee. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

The W.Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction honors the best fiction set in a period when the United States was at war. It recognizes the service of American veterans and military personnel and encourages the writing and publishing of outstanding war-related fiction. Genre: Military fiction. Prize: $5000. Deadline: December 1, 2017.

Literature MattersRestrictions: UK residents. Genre: "Awards will be given to individual writers or other literary creators, recognising their past achievements and providing them with financial support to undertake a proposed new piece of writing or literary project. Launched as part of the RSL’s new Literature Matters programme, priority will be given to proposals which (a) will help connect with audiences or topics outside the usual reach of literature, and/or (b) will help generate public discussion about why literature matters." Award: £20,000. Deadline: December 4, 2017.

Betty Berzon Emerging Writer AwardRestrictions: Open to an LGBTQ writer who has shown exceptional talent and the potential for continued literary success and significance in the future. The nominee must have published at least one but no more than two books, written in the discipline of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. Works must be in the English language. Prize: $1,500. Deadline: December 5, 2017.

Bronx Recognizes Its Own (BRIO) provides direct support to individual Bronx artists who create literary, media, visual, and performing works of art. Prize: 25 BRIO grants of $3,000 each are awarded to Bronx artists. BRIO award winners complete a one-time public service activity. Deadline: December 8, 2017.

Friends of American Writers. Restrictions: The author must be a resident (or previously have been a resident for approximately five years) of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota or Wisconsin; or the locale of the book must be in a region identified above. The author must not have published more than three books under his/her own pen name. Genres: Books can be fiction or creative non-fiction and published in 2017. Self-published and e-Books are not eligible. Prize: $4000. Deadline: December 10, 2017.

Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics Essay ContestRestrictions: Registered undergraduate full-time Juniors or Seniors at accredited four-year colleges or universities in the United States during the Fall 2015 Semester. Genre: Essay Topic: Articulate with clarity an ethical issue that you have encountered and analyze what it has taught you about ethics and yourself. 3,000 to 4,000 words. Prize: First Prize $5,000, 2nd Prize $2,500, 3rd Prize $1,500, two Honorable Mentions $500 each. Deadline: December 11, 2017. Read details here.

White River Environmental Law Writing Competition is sponsored by the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law and Vermont Law School. Restrictions: Open to all students currently pursuing a degree (J.D. or LL.M) at an accredited law school in the United States. Submissions written as a class component, as a journal requirement, or otherwise for academic credit are acceptable. Genre: Original essays addressing any relevant topic in the fields of environmental law, natural resource law, energy law, environmental justice, land use law, animal law, and agricultural law. Prize: $1000 cash prize and an offer of publication with the Vermont Journal of Environmental LawDeadline: December 11, 2017.

J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress AwardGenre: Uncompleted work of nonfiction on a topic of American political or social concern. Prize: $30,000 fellowship. Deadline: December 11, 2017.

Deborah Rogers Foundation AwardRestrictions: Applicants may not be under contract to any publisher for any work or title. Applications are only open to writers who have not previously published or self-published a full length book of their own prose writing (with the exception of a collection of poetry). Entrants must write in the English language and reside within the British Commonwealth and Eire. Genre: Excerpt: 20-30,000 words of a work in progress, fiction or non-fiction, which is not under option or contract. Prize: £10,000. Deadline: December 13, 2017.

Spark Award: Held by SCBWI open to members of SCBWI who are self-published. Genres: Fiction and nonfiction. Prize: Envy. The SCBWI is our most prestigious national organization (US) for children's book and YA writers. Deadline: December 15, 2017.

Whiting Prize. Restrictions: Applicants must be not-for-profit literary magazines in the US, annual budgets of no more than $500,000, and have published at least annually for at least three years. Genre: This contest is for print and digital literary magazines. Prize: $30,000 - $60,000. Deadline: December 15, 2017.

Exiled Writers Ink Free Poetry CompetitionRestrictions: Open to UK refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants. Genre: Poetry. Prize: First Prize £400 plus The Literary Consultancy’s free detailed report on the winner’s poetry collection; Second Prize £200 plus a free course at the prestigious Poetry; School; Third Prize £100. Deadline: December 15, 2017.

Barbara Kyle’s 4th Annual Manuscript Evaluation Contest. Genre: Manuscript. (Genre not specified) Prize: Grand Prize: evaluation of a full manuscript: Second Prize: evaluation of the first 50 pages of a manuscript: Third Prize: evaluation of the first 25 pages of a manuscript. Deadline: December 15, 2017.

Women Artists Datebook. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $70. Deadline: December 15, 2017.

Rider University Annual High School Writing ContestRestrictions: Open to high school students. Genres: Essays, poetry, fiction. Prizes: 1st-$100, 2nd-$50, 3rd-$25. Deadline: December 15, 2017.

Arts & Letters AwardsRestrictions: Open to residents of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Genres: poetry, short fiction, nonfiction, dramatic script, art, music, and French language. Entries must be unpublished and completed during the previous 12 months. Prizes: C$1,000 and C$250.  Deadline: December 15, 2017.

Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award.  Restrictions: Only Poetry Society of America members may enter. Genre: Poetry, unpublished and published. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: December 22, 2017.

Lucille Medwick Memorial AwardRestrictions: Only Poetry Society of America members may enter. Genre: Poetry, unpublished and published. Original poem in any form on a humanitarian theme. Prize: $500. Deadline: December 22, 2017.

Cecil Hemley Memorial AwardRestrictions: Only Poetry Society of America members may enter. Genre: Poetry, unpublished and published. Lyric poem that addresses a philosophical or epistemological concern. Prize: $500. Deadline: December 22, 2017.

Lyric Poetry AwardRestrictions: Only Poetry Society of America members may enter. Genre: A lyric poem on any subject. Prize: $500. Deadline: December 22, 2017.

The Writer Magazine/Emily Dickinson AwardRestrictions: Only Poetry Society of America members may enter for free. Genre: A poem inspired by Dickinson though not necessarily in her style. Prize: $250. Deadline: December 22, 2017.

George Bogin Memorial AwardRestrictions: Only Poetry Society of America members may enter for free. Other must pay a $15 entry fee. Genre: Poetry that takes a stand against oppression. Prize: $500. Deadline: December 22, 2017.

Robert H. Winner Memorial AwardRestrictions: Only Poetry Society of America members may enter for free. There is a charge of $15 for non-members. Open to mid-career poets who have not had substantial recognition, and is over forty, and who have published no more than one book. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $2,500. Deadline: December 22, 2017.

Commonwealth Club of California Book AwardsRestrictions: Open to residents of California. Genre: Book of poetry, fiction or nonfiction. Prize: Medal. Deadline: December 22, 2017.

Black Caucus of the American Library Association. BCALA presents four awards to an African American writer published in the United States during the previous year: one for adult fiction, one for nonfiction, one for a first novelist and one for poetry. These awards acknowledge outstanding achievement in the presentation of the cultural, historical and sociopolitical aspects of the Black Diaspora. Prize: Four $500.00 awards. Deadline: December 29, 2017.

Posen Society of Fellows AwardsGenre: Jewish-themed dissertation. Prize: $40,000 fellowship. Deadline: December 30, 2017.

Ouen Press Short Story CompetitionGenre: Short story on theme of "Taste." Prize: £300 top prize. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Best Translated Book Awards for FictionGenre: All original translations published between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017 are eligible. Reprints and retranslation are ineligible. Prize: $5,000.00. Two awards of $5,000: one apiece for the author and translator of the winning book in fiction. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Best Translated Book Awards for PoetryGenre: All original translations published between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017 are eligible. Reprints and retranslation are ineligible. Prize: $5,000.00. Two awards of $5,000: one apiece for the author and translator of the winning book in fiction. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards recognizes outstanding works that contribute to our understanding of racism and our appreciation of the rich diversity of human cultures. Awards are given for both fiction and nonfiction. Prize: $10,000. Deadline: December 31, 2017. The winners are announced in the spring.

Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry, Griffin Poetry PrizeRestrictions: One prize goes to a living Canadian poet or translator, the other to a living poet or translator from any country, which may include Canada. Genre: Poetry. Books must have been published in English during the calendar year preceding the year of the award. Prize: C$200,000, is awarded annually in two categories – International and Canadian. Each prize is worth C$65,000. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Kansas Book AwardRestrictions: Author must establish a connection to Kansas by birth, education, employment, residence or other significant claim. Genre: Book of literary nonfiction. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future ContestGenre: Speculative fiction prose, up to 17,000 words. Prize: $1,000 with $5,000 grand prize. Deadline: December 31, 2017. Read details HERE.

Blue Mountain Arts Poetry Card ContestGenre: Poem. Prize: $300. Deadline: December 31, 2017. Read details HERE.

Best Translated Book Awards for Fiction and PoetryGenre: Published translated poetry book or novel. Prize: $5,000: one apiece for the author and translator of the winning book. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Society of Classical Poets, Poetry CompetitionGenre: Poetry. Three to five poems, each of which does not exceed 50 lines. The poems must be within the four themes used by the Society. Prize: First Prize: $500. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Viva la NovellaRestrictions: Open to Australian and New Zealand writers. Genre: Novella. Prize: $1,000 and publication in SeizureDeadline: December 31, 2017.

USNI Naval History Essay ContestGenre: Essay.  Prize: First Prize: $6,000. Second Prize:$3,000. Third Prize: $2,000. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Arnold Adoff Poetry AwardsGenre: Poetry books for children and young adults. Novels in verse, memoirs in verse, collections of original poetry, and edited collections are all acceptable formats for the awards. Prize: $500. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Goldstein, Lawrence, and Clayton Prizes in Poetry and Short Fiction. Sponsored by Michigan Quarterly Review. Genres: Poetry, short fiction. Prizes are given to the best poetry and fiction submitted to the MQR throughout the year. Follow their usual submission guidelines. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Hefner Heitz Kansas Book Award in Literary NonfictionRestrictions: Author must establish a connection to Kansas by birth, education, employment, residence or other significant claim. Genre: Nonfiction book with a publication date of 2015, 2016 or 2017. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Neil Postman Award for Metaphor. Sponsored by Rattle. Genre: Poetry. All published submissions during the year are considered for the prize. Follow their regular submission guidelines. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Dapim: Studies on the Holocaust Article Prize CompetitionGenre: Nonfiction of 7,000-10,000 words about the Holocaust. Prize: $1,000 top prize. Deadline: December 31, 2017.  Questions/submissions:

Caribbean Writers PrizesGenre: Short fiction, nonfiction, poetry, books. Prize: $400 - $500.  Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Lex:lead Essay CompetitionGenre: Essay on topic: How can banking regulatory law reduce poverty and support economic development? Prize: $500. Deadline: December 31, 2017. You must register by November 30.

Walter Muir Whitehill Prize in Early American HistoryGenre: Essay on early American history (up to 1825), not previously published, with preference being given to New England subjects. Prize: $2,500. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

William Carlos Williams Poetry CompetitionRestrictions: Open to students attending allopathic or osteopathic schools of medicine in the United States and Canada. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $300.  Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

4 Noteworthy Writing Conferences and Workshops in December 2017

Anna Spiro
During the holidays, writing conferences slow down. However, the few conferences offered in December are vibrant with opportunities.

The New York Pitch Conference is ideal for anyone with a finished manuscript. Dozens of agents and editors attend this conference to listen to pitches, and not only do you get a chance to pitch to an agent, you can take workshops that teach you how to pitch. 

In an age in which agents frequently only accept submissions from writers they have met at a pitch conference, this is an event not to be missed.

I've said it before, and I will say it again - attending a conference is one of the best things you can do for your writing career. Conferences offer a unique opportunity to network with other writers, meet agents and pitch your book, and learn how the publishing industry works from editors and professionals.

I strongly urge you to plan ahead if you are thinking of attending a writing conference. Many offer scholarships that can significantly reduce the cost. And all of the intensive writing workshops have application deadlines. For a month-by-month list of conferences throughout the year see: Writing Conferences. (You will also find links to resources that can help you find conferences in your area on that page.)


LWC}NYC Writers Conference. Dec 7 - 8, 2017, NY, NY. Clinics, workshops and panels with industry professionals. Plus, Agent Speed Dating on December 7, 2017 offers meetings with agents from Don Congdon Associates, Fletcher & Company, Folio Literary Management, Trident Media Group, Writers House, and other top literary agencies—included in your registration, which also comes with two lunches and welcome coffee & bagels. Cost is $350.

The 2017 Mesa Book Festival. December 9, 2017, Mesa, Arizona. The festival features presentations, readings, visits with authors, and a poetry open mic. Participating authors include fiction writers Marcia Fine, Marsha Ward, Connie Wesala, and Natalie Wright; and creative nonfiction writers Bruce Davis, Jan Krulick-Belin, and Katrina Shawver. All events are free and open to the public.

The 2017 Hawai’i Writers’ Retreat. December 10-16, 2017, Puako, Hawai’i. Faculty: Sheila Bender; Brenda Miller. Mornings at the Hawai’i Writers’ Retreat feature intensive craft lectures, as well as generative-writing workshops.

New York Pitch Conference. Dec 14 - 17, 2017, NY, NY. The New York Pitch Conference and writers workshop is held four times a year and features publishing house editors from major houses such as Penguin, Random House, St. Martins, Harper Collins, Tor and Del Rey, Kensington Books and many more who are looking for new novels in a variety of genres, as well as narrative non-fiction. The event focuses on the art of the novel pitch as the best method not only for communicating your work, but for having you and your work taken seriously by industry professionals. The registration fee until December 5 is $795.00, and $895.00 after that date. This fee covers all conference pitch sessions and workshops.
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